PLUMSTED TOWNSHIP, N.J. -- Republican Steve Lonegan got some help from Sarah Palin to bolster his support among conservatives in his Senate campaign, which had a pit stop at the New Egypt Speedway Saturday afternoon as the campaign closes in on Wednesday’s special election.
“We are in the middle of this fight. It’s a war for America’s Liberty,” Palin told the audience at the Tea Party Express event. Palin, the former governor of Alaska and John McCain’s running mate in the 2008 Presidential election, criticized the government shutdown, but said the Republicans were not to blame.
Lonegan, who is trailing Democratic Newark Mayor Cory Booker in the polls, called Wednesday, Oct. 16’s election to fill the term of the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg a “referendum vote. It is not just to set the tone for a Republican takeover of the Senate in 2014. It is a referendum vote for everything Barack Obama is doing to our country.”
Lonegan warned the crowd carrying American and yellow Gadsden flags of the swelling $17 trillion national debt, a weakened defense and the encroachment of government into liberties.
Plumsted Township Police declined to estimate the size of the crowd at this town in rural Ocean County at the edge of the Pine Barrens, but security at the New Egypt Speedway said over 2000 cars were parked there.
Even with a sizable audience, Amy Kremer, the Chairman of the Tea Party Express, said many Republicans have sat on the sidelines in this race as she endorsed Lonegan. “Where’s the Republican Party? Where’s Carl Rove?” she asked the audience under the overcast sky. “We don’t need Washington’s money.”
“We believe that he is going to fight to save the republic and to fight to take us away from the socialist path that we’re on.” Kremer said.
A Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday has Booker ahead of Steve Lonegan by 53 percent to 41 percent among likely voters with just a week to go before the election.
Palin was considered a potential candidate for the 2012 Presidential election, but opted not to run and but campaigned for conservative candidates. She resigned as Alaska’s governor in July 2009 with 18 months remaining in her term.
Palin had said her resignation was for her the good of her state and family reasons. Allegations of ethics violations had weighed on her administration’s agenda and her personal finances.